The start of a new year for many of us is a time for reflection. We think about the good, the not-so-good, and the areas in which we would like to improve as we welcome a new year. As for me, what I love about the new year is that I get the chance to start fresh, begin a new chapter of my life.
And this is why January is the time for new year’s resolutions. There is just something very appealing about the “new year, new you” idea. Some of the most popular new near’s resolutions include losing weight, staying in touch with friends and family members, quitting past habits, saving money, cutting down on stressors, or even sleeping more!
For many people, a “new you” means a healthier you, and this is why we choose these goals beginning January 1st. Do you already have your New Year’s resolution for 2016? If you would like to live solely on vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts, you are considering vegetarianism. Whether you want to do it for health or humane reasons, we at PureFormulas invite you to join a free course where you can learn the health and environmental benefits of adopting a more plant-based lifestyle.
Vegetarian/vegan diets have been increasingly trending in recent years. You may be considering it because you haven’t been enjoying the taste of meat, or you may think it’s wrong to kill animals. Perhaps you are trying to eat cleaner and prefer more plant-sourced foods.. Vegetarianism may have gained popularity with celebrities joining the cause in recent years, but it has become one of the most popular diets.
For those who have considered the veggie lifestyle, it is important to understand the different levels of vegetarianism.
How vegetarian would you go?
• Flexitarians: You are just dipping your toes in the land of veggies and occasionally will still eat meat.
• Pescatarian: You gave up all meats but still enjoy fish.
• Lacto-ovo vegetarian: You quit all meats but still eat dairy and eggs.
• Vegan: You quit all animal products including dairy, eggs, and even honey!
Here’s a fun fact: The first vegetarian club was created in 1809 in Manchester, England and the term “vegetarian” was coined in 1847!
Recent studies have shown that some of the potential benefits of a vegetarian diet include reduction of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. The vegetarian cause is also responsible for starting some well-known movements across the globe, such as Meatless Monday, a social media effort started by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2003, which now has over 30 countries participating.
Vegetarian lifestyle and nutrition
Some people might have wanted to start the meatless lifestyle but worry about nutrients that might be lacking in their diet including:
o Yogurt, milk (or fortified alternatives), cheese, eggs, beans, quinoa, teff, amaranth, sorghum, seed and nut butters.
Omega 3 fatty acids:
o The first type of Omega 3 fatty acid is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can be found in vegetable oil, soybean, flaxseed, walnuts, and sea plants.
o The other two types of omega 3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are found in fatty fish.
o One of the more difficult nutrients to obtain (especially for vegans), vitamin B12 can be sourced from sardines, salmon, shrimp, yogurt, milk, eggs, and cheese.
o Essential for bone health and much more, calcium can be found in tofu, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, bok choy, yogurt, kale, milk, cheese, and broccoli.
o Many foods that are a source of calcium, such as milk, are also fortified with vitamin D. Fatty fish are also good sources of vitamin D. And remember, sunlight alone can give you a good amount of vitamin D.
o Sources include beans, lentils, tofu, and chickpeas—just make sure that these are cooked for optimal iron absorption. A few veggies are also good sources of iron include spinach, beet greens, collard greens, and bok choy.
o Spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, seeds, beans, and lentils.
We hope the above outline will give you the confidence that you can turn to vegetarianism and still maintain a balanced diet. The key just lies in diversifying what you choose to eat.
It’s also very important that you first talk to a nutrition expert before you jump into the vegetarian lifestyle. He or she can help you go about it in the healthiest way possible.
If you are ready to take the “veg pledge”, join us at PureFormulas’ “Get Your Green Groove On,” where we give you all the tools, support, and delicious recipes to be on your way to new and green you this new year.